Friday, October 19, 2012

why the f*ck friday (16)

Welcome to WTFF. In which I attempt to answer a single question--normally a thought on a book or a bookish subject--that I've been pondering for the past week. This week it's "why the f*ck are you such a purest?"

When I was younger I used to abuse my books. I'd leave them in cars so the spines would melt, I'd drop them in the pool, I'd have an ice cream in one hand and a copy of Hitchhiker's in the other; the pages sticky with sugar.

Sometime later I stopped doing that. I started cherishing the little square things. Keeping them safe, making sure I didn't dog-ear pages, and I would never, not a million years ever, write in a book or highlight a passage. That was a cardinal sin to me.

Yet sometime ago I stopped doing even that. I started to abuse the fuck out of my books again. I started highlighting. I started underlining. I started to write in the margins. I started to break the spines from cracking open the same book of poetry over and over again.

I'm not that extreme about it.
I spilled coffee on them and didn't care. I took them to the park and let dogs chew on them while I wasn't looking. I abused my books. I stopped thinking of them as sacred little squares that needed to be protected. I started considering a well-read and well-abused book as something to be proud of. I would laugh at my sad little copies and state "I read the fuck out of you. You were great."

Yet. Some part of me still feels a little naughty for doing this. Some part of me wants to take that old battered copy and make it new again. I still keep some books (signed copies, special editions) in excellent shape. I still protect them.

I'm not a full blown "don't crack that book open too far" purest, but I do appreciate shelf wear and tear. Surely I'm not the only one? So this week's question is: why the f*ck are you such a book purest?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Currently reading...

I used to do an entire post on what I was reading this week, just to keep everyone in the loop. It made my blog more journal-like, but at the same time I got to talk about a variety of different things that don't make it on Hitting On Girls in Bookstores. So I thought I'd start doing it again. What are you reading this week?

This week I'm torn between reading The Rook and rereading Cloud Atlas. I've had a long standing love affair with all things David Mitchell. Number 9 Dream? Check. Ghostwritten? Check. Black Swan Green?* Check.

My fanboyishness for Mitchell has extended to forcing one coworker to read Cloud Atlas (she liked it). The rest of his work is now living on my desk at work, ready to loan out if anyone ever brings him up.**

I guess it's a good thing that Cloud Atlas is going to be a movie, and that it has Tom Hanks in it, but really, if he fucks this up there will be no forgiveness on my part. But it looks like a nice movie, what with Hugo Weaving (the most under appreciated actor ever) also starring in it.

Don't fuck this up, Tom.
The Rook was actually a recommendation--kind of--from Lish McBride (Necromancing the Stone). She had brought it up at a book event recently that it's the kind of novel she's always wanted to write. I can't say I blame her, it's inventive, it's fun, it's funny. I'm really enjoying it.

Not to mention that I also had a sleeve-off with Lish McBride that night as well (more on this later--with pictures).

Also, I am completely obsessed with a poet named Sara Teasdale right now:
When I am dead and over me bright April
Shakes out her rain-drenched hair,
Though you should lean above me broken-hearted,
I shall not care. 
I shall have peace, as leafy trees are peaceful
When rain bends down the bough;
And I shall be more silent and cold-hearted
Than you are now.
Her poems are passionate and brutal, dark and morose, romantic and anti-climatic. She died young and didn't write very much, but what she left behind is something that I've come to appreciate. You can find most of her poetry online for free, and Amazon even has free ebooks of her works.

The discovery of this poet can only go to Ann Aguirre. Who has written at least two favorite series of mine: Enclave and Sirantha Jax

*Funny Note On Black Swan Green: This one was a gift. In return I gave them to The Devil Wears Prada. It seems like an unfair trade-off.
**I also keep Douglas Adams in my desk.

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Catastrophic History of You and Me - a review

The Catastrophic History of You and Me
Jess Rothenberg
375 pages

There's Not Another Teen Movie. Then there's Vampires Suck. The next parody movie that needs to be made is Not Another Dead Kid. That sounds harsh, but really, it's not.

Between Shade (dead boyfriend) and 13 Reasons Why (over dramatic dead girl) and various other books that deal with the topic of death, something bad has happened. No one is really dead. I mean, like, completely dead. Like, I have zero influence on the plot because I'm totally fucking dead dead.

That's not the issue I really have with The Catastrophic History of You and Me. The issue is the dead girl herself: Brie. Brie who dies when her boyfriend says "I don't love you." Because, you know, that happens all the time and a boyfriend is something that you should base your ENTIRE existence on. He should be your social life, your best friend, your study buddy, your barf barf barf.

Brie--without knowing how clingy she comes off as--is dead. She can influence some events (push things, let people feel her presence) and is running around San Francisco with a teenagemalepotentialloveinterest* trying to figure out how to move on. That's the plot.

Oh. And she won't shut the fuck up, either.

Really. She will not stop whining. Mostly every conversation in every chapter goes like this:

Brie: I should be alive and able to (insert whatever).
Teen Angel: You can't. You're dead.

Or the teen angel makes some other kind of a quip as to how dead Brie is. It was all so CSI: Miami. I was just waiting for that yell: YEEEEAAAAAAHHHHH as one of them put on their sunglasses.**

It's something I can't handle. Teen characters being all whiny and repetitive. Catastrophic wasn't horrible. It has its moments. The afterlife is part pizzeria? Sign me up. There's an adorable dog. There's a... each chapter opens with a quote from a song!

There's also a great father character that didn't get enough time in the book. Instead it was boyfriend, boyfriend, boyfriend, boyfriend. It's just a book I couldn't get into. I guess it's a dead giveaway that this one didn't live up to its potential... YEEEAAAAAHHHHH.

Two Out of Five Fucks Given

*It's one word now.
Full Disclosure: I read this on my Kindle.

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